These in 30-45 12 months age group most inclined to suicide: Consultants

KOLKATA: The death of Ballygunge resident Sonali Aikat
(43), who ended her life by jumping off the 17th floor of a tower on Saturday, has bolstered experts’ view that people belonging to the 30-45 years age group are the most prone to committing suicide because they start re-examine their lives at this stage.

“When people are 30-45 years old, many start to re-evaluate themselves on their achievements and the aspirations they have not been able to meet. The key factor in a suicide is the feeling of helplessness. When one feels that one has not achieved enough and the prospects are not good, this can render them helpless, pushing them to take a drastic step, like suicide,” said psychiatrist Dr J R Ram. figures showed 1,098 people in the 30-45 age group ended their lives in Bengal in 2015 .

Data revealed by both home minister of state for home last Friday and the showed how the city—and Bengal at large—had failed to react to people taking their lives. Parnasree resident Indranil Chatterjee (41), 25-year-old Samir Das from Tala, Garfa’s Sumit Chowdhury (28), senior citizen Shelly Sen (73), a resident of Ultadanga, and 71-year-old Uttam Sen from Narkeldanga—cutting across the age barrier, these men and women had been driven to such melancholy that they took their lives in the past 12 days in Kolkata.

The top brass pointed out that around 800-odd deaths in 2016-17 could be attributed to suicides. The year 2015 saw 306 suicides across Kolkata. “We can conclude that there’s almost one suicide a day reported in the city. Several more go unnoticed,” said an officer at Lalbazar. It is only when a “known face”, like television actor Moumita Saha who ended her life earlier this month or a bright youngster, like the first-year student at a top south Kolkata college hanged herself at her hostel do people wake up to psychological ailments that many suffer, say experts. Psychiatrist Sabyasachi Mitra pointed out that India now accounted for 17.5% of the total suicides across the world, most of the victims being middle-aged or youngsters.

But what experts are the most worried about is the rising trend of youths, many of them students, taking their lives. In 2015, 676 students committed suicide in Bengal. The next year, the figure stood at 1,147, second only to Maharashtra, where 1,350 students ended their lives, Ahir had said in a reply to a parliamentary question. Overall, around 26,500 students committed suicide in India that year. “The most recurring reason behind teens and youths taking their lives is the unfulfilled economic and social mobility that they so desire,” psychiatrist Mitra said.

Bengal, along with the four southern states and Tripura and Mizoram, has a high suicide rate of 16 deaths per lakh population. But in , the rate is as low as 0.8, which translates into 14,310 deaths a year. For all practical purposes, that is 39 deaths a day.

The NCRB figures, last available for 2015, saw Maharastra leading the pack with 12.3% of the country’s suicides between 2013 and 2015. For Bengal, which was in the fourth position, the figures rose steeply from 9.7% to 10.9%.

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